Ohio Prepares For Health Exchange Despite Questions

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UPDATED: Tuesday September 24, 2013 5:54 PM

The Health Insurance Marketplace is an important component of Obamacare, but many Ohioans are asking who qualifies and what they need to do next.

"There are millions of Ohioans who won't have to do one thing on Tuesday," said Kathleen Gmeiner of UHCAN Ohio.  "If you've got regular comprehensive insurance at work, you're good."

Gmeiner says the new health exchange only applies to people who have never been able to get health coverage before.

That means people who don't have employer-provided health care or coverage from a federal program - like Medicare - will be able to participate in the exchange.

For those who qualify, a menu of insurance options will be available online starting Tuesday. Click here for details.

The specific information for the Ohio exchanges will not be made available until Tuesday. Starting then, people can log on to www.ohioexchange.ohio.gov for more information.

People will have until Dec. 15 to pick their plan.

The insurance coverage will begin Jan. 1.

Ohio's Insurance director Mary Taylor has been critical of the Marketplace where she says, on average, premiums will rise more than 40 percent next year.

"There are going to be Ohioans who want to start checking on the type of insurance that will be available to them," said Taylor.  “Unfortunately, because of all the mandates under Obamacare, premiums are going up.  So there may be situations where individuals still find it too costly."

Taylor's numbers, however, do not include reductions that will come from federal subsidies.

Ohio is not alone - 26 other states have decided to use the health care marketplace run by the federal government.

Supporters of the exchange blame Taylor and the Kasich administration for failing to provide any information about it.

"What they're not doing is help educate the public which is disappointing to us," said Gmeiner.

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